The First Thing You Should Do with a New Bottle of Olive Oil

published Jun 6, 2021
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hand on new bottle of olive oil, on the kitchen counter
Credit: Joe Lingeman

If you have any stainless steel appliances in your kitchen (even just a little two-slot toaster), you know how easily the finish can get smudged. And you’ve probably employed some sort of oil-based cleaner, or even baby oil, to take care of it in the past. But have you ever tried olive oil? The pantry staple is pretty handy for cleaning all sorts of things — especially fingerprints and smudges on your stainless steel fridge, microwave, oven, and dishwasher door. And it can do the job without leaving streaks the way commercial cleaners often do.

Of course, you can whip out the olive oil anytime you notice your stainless steel appliances looking a little less-than-sparkly. But why not make a routine of it and oil-polish those surfaces every time you open up a new bottle of olive oil? If you’re cooking with it even a few times a week, you’re probably stocking up on olive oil once a month or so, which is the perfect increment for some maintenance cleaning.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Best Way to Polish Your Stainless Steel Appliances with Olive Oil 

First of all, it should be said that there’s no reason to use fancy olive oil here. In fact, you should not. Cheap, grocery store olive oil that you use for roasting (not finishing) is best here. Got your oil? Good. Now, just add a few drops of olive oil to a clean, microfiber cloth. Then, use the cloth to buff your stainless steel in the same direction as the grain (look closely — it will either be running horizontally or vertically). Work until smudges are gone and scratch marks are masked. To finish, buff the material with a dry microfiber cloth (you can use the non-olive oil portion of the cleaning cloth). 


You can use the rest of the bottle for cooking (or bust it out whenever your appliances get smudge-y again!). We just like to use the new bottle as a reminder that it’s probably time to do some polishing.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The First Thing You Should Do with a New Bottle of Olive Oil